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Lesson 1

Course Overview, Organization and Introduction to Contemporary Class Schemas: E.O. Wright 



1. Preliminary definitions: what is the social structure?
2. The class structure: What are social classes and why is it important for sociology to study them? 
3. Antecedents of contemporary thought (I): Karl Marx
4. Contemporary class approaches I: Erik Olin Wright
       / Exploitation 
       / Loyalty rents 
       / Skill rents
       / Wright’s Class schema
       / Some problems




Lesson 2

Contemporary Class Schemas II: John Goldthorpe



1. Antecedents of contemporary thought (II): Max Weber
2. Marx and Weber: Similarities and differences 
3. Contemporary class approaches II: John  Goldthorpe
    -The EGP Class schema
    -Some problems



Lesson 3

Sorensen's employment-rent approach: Debate and application to the study of the Spanish Labour Market 



Additional links: Sara de la Rica & Javier Polavieja on the Spanish Labour Market





(In Spanish)

Lesson 4

Class Mobility: An introduction to key concepts,. methods & debates



1. The empirical study of social mobility
2. Preliminary definitions: Concepts and research questions
3. The 2 “classical” hypotheses about social mobility
    -The Marxist polarization hypothesis
    -The liberal hypothesis
4. The mobility table
    -Inflows, outflows and odd ratios
5. Discussion




Lesson 5

Comparative research on social mobility

1. Theories about variation of mobility rates across countries and over time:
    -Liberal theory of industrialism—logic of industrialism
    -The importance of politics 
    -National / cultural exceptionalism

2. Four generations of comparative mobility research: Testing mobility trends with comparative data  
    -The Lipset-Zetterberg hypothesis (1959)
    -The Featherman-Jones-Hauser hypothesis (1975)   
    -The Constant Flux hypothesis: Erikson and Goldthorpe (1992)
    -The latest evidence: Breen (2004)3

3. Discussion & mobiliy exercise




Lesson 6

Educational attainment & the meritocracy debate



1. Why do sociologists care about educational stratification?
    -The main research questions in educational attainment research 
2. Liberal and related theories of meritocracy
    -Four predictions of the increasing meritocracy thesis (IMT)
3. Cross-national Trends (I): Educational expansion  
    -Key features of educational systems
4. Cross-national Trends (II): The effect of O on E
5. Cross-national Trends (III): Increasing meritocracy? 
    -The Linear Regression Model
    -The Sequential Logistic Regression Model
6. Mechanisms: Primary and secondary effects
7. Discussion



Lesson 7

Investigating primary effects: Ability & inequality



1. Types of Ability
    -Cognitive and non-cognitive abilities
    -Ability types, school performance, educational attainment and socioeconomic success

2. The Transmission of ability 
    -Genetic inheritance?
    -Parental endowments, resources, investments and parenting styles
    -Environmental Stress: Residential Deprivation and Peer-effects
3. The importance of early intervention
    -The importance of the early years in ability development 
    -An illustration of investment returns: The Perry Preschool Project

4. Discussion

Primary Effects II: The role of schools
 1. Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital and the reproduction of inequality
 2. Do schools discriminate?: Some experimental evidence

 3. Schools are actually equalizers: The summer learning loss gap

 4. Discussion

Lesson 8

Investigating primary effects II: Parenting styles and health outcomes

Lesson 9

Student-run session: Investigating secondary effects I

Modelling educational decisions


Cultural capital, signalling, personality traits & attainment



Lesson 10

Student-run session: Investigating secondary effects II: Social capital & attainment

Coleman's social capital theory & applications

Granovetter's weak ties model & applications

Additional Links: 

Aaron Sundarajan on the SWT                         Plus a doodle animation


Lesson 11

Student-run session: Elite Schools & class discrimination

Do employers discriminate by class origins?


Elite schools & elite labour markets


Lesson 12

Conclussions, discussion  & paper project presentations

Additional link: Prof. Hamermesh on the economic benefits of beauty

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